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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, my 2003 Honda Element is currently at the dealership being repaired, and I think that they're trying to charge me again for a repair that was made last year and should still be under warranty. On Aug 2018, they found a vtec housing leak, they replaced the housing seal and the spool valve filter - cost $252.92

I brought it in this Saturday, and they told me that the vtec value leaks. When I questioned the maintenance rep about it, he said:
"It’s not the vtech valve cover which we recently serviced for you last year which is located at the front side of your engine, It’s the vtech spool valve solenoid located at the rear side of your engine." -- he keeps getting the vtec acronym wrong, calling it "vtech".

I went to Honda Parts Now website to see if I could find the part, and I can't find it. When I asked for a little more information from the maintenance rep I got a snarky reply "I’m saving all the old parts and giving it to you....... That should answer all your questions and concerns. Just take the part number with the black arrow and match it with your schematic....."

So my question is, where is the "vtech spool valve solenoid located"? Are they charging me for something that should be covered by the warranty?
 

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Hi,
He is correct, the spool valve is at the back of engine and the solenoid valve, is at the front. Image-2-4-e1510116837601.jpg Here is a pic, the spool valve is a block shape in the back. Easy to confuse name wise!
 

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Terms can be confusing...

The gist I'm getting from what the dealership told you, is that last year you had an oil leak at the VTC cover located on the front/side of the engine...and thus they (probably) replaced the VTC cover o-ring and screen. I doubt that would have included replacement of the VTC actuator (solenoid) for $252.92

seagiant's picture is that of the VTC actuator...the one located on the front/side of the engine.

The VTEC spool valve assembly is located on the back of the engine and is a completely different module.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Turns out they replaced the VTEC spool valve assembly. Why they can't tell me this, and dance around the subject is beyond me. Does the whole VTEC spool valve assembly need to be changed out because of a leak? Does it take 2 hours to change one out?
IMG_2758.jpeg

Feeling like the dealership is not being transparent about their charges, and doing unnecessary replacements to bury the cost elsewhere.

Below are photos the mechanic rep had me take of the "worksheet", instead of writing up an estimate for me. Based on that, I can some questions. The top table was based on the worksheet, the bottom table was based on that worksheet estimate, minus the battery charge (since it was under warranty). When I asked if the VTEC valve leak was under warranty, because it was repaired in Aug. of 2018, that's when I started getting the bit about it being the "It’s the vtech spool valve solenoid located at the rear side of your engine". This is the same part that they work on in August, by replacing the housing seal $253.
202074

Because Honda has forgotten to record service that they've done, and I use to go to another mechanic that was great, but has since retired, I keep detailed records -- parts replaced; service; parts under warranty. This is the first problem I've had with Honda service, or any mechanic for that matter. In the end they charged me $2,410. not including tax.
Still need to go through and see how they divvied up the cost to come to that number, at first glance it looks like they upped the price of some parts.

Any advise on how to handle this matter would be welcome.
 

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Hi,
I'm not taking up for the Dealer, some are good others are not.
However, every mechanic I know of tacks about 20% on to parts.
Then at $80-100 an hour labor things add up.
That is why a lot of people here do their own mantianace.
My dealer charges $500 for a valve adjustment on the E...
I did my own, just sayin, I would do everything you can if possible.
Mechanics like Doctors, have little mercy, when it comes bill time!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi,
I'm not taking up for the Dealer, some are good others are not.
However, every mechanic I know of tacks about 20% on to parts.
Then at $80-100 an hour labor things add up.
That is why a lot of people here do their own mantianace.
My dealer charges $500 for a valve adjustment on the E...
I did my own, just sayin, I would do everything you can if possible.
Mechanics like Doctors, have little mercy, when it comes bill time!!!
LOL. Great analogy.
And I totally get the marked up price. I take my E to the dealer, because I can't fix it myself. I get that they have overhead cost, that have to be covered. I also like that they warranty their work, 3 years or 36,000 miles.
What I don't like is that when I pointed out that they had "fixed" the vtec leak 1 year + 1 month ago (18,364 miles), they gaslighted me, and tried to tell me it was a different part, located on the other side of the engine. When I asked for the part number, to look into it, so that I could see what they were replacing the mechanic rep gave me this snarky answer that he would save me all the parts, so that I could look it up myself. Anyway, going to the dealership today to take to the manager. The Vtec repair was under warranty, and they need to cover it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi,
He is correct, the spool valve is at the back of engine and the solenoid valve, is at the front. View attachment 202071 Here is a pic, the spool valve is a block shape in the back. Easy to confuse name wise!
Thanks. This image was very helpful. Going to the dealership today to straighten things out. They didn't replace the spool valve that's pictured above. They replaced Vtec assembly spool.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Terms can be confusing...

The gist I'm getting from what the dealership told you, is that last year you had an oil leak at the VTC cover located on the front/side of the engine...and thus they (probably) replaced the VTC cover o-ring and screen. I doubt that would have included replacement of the VTC actuator (solenoid) for $252.92

seagiant's picture is that of the VTC actuator...the one located on the front/side of the engine.

The VTEC spool valve assembly is located on the back of the engine and is a completely different module.

Good luck
Last year - Vtec oil leak: They replaced the Vtec screen Part 15815-RAA-A02 for $252.92

The other day - Vtec oil leak: They replaces VTC Filter Assy Part 15845-RAA-A01; Oil Seal Part 15832-RAA-A01; Valve Assy., Spool Part 15810-RAA-A03 for $466.43

I've got the Valve Assy., Spool part. It looks pretty solid. Not sure why they had to replace the whole thing. I'll talk to them today, and see what's going on. Should be covered by their warranty.
 

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Last year - Vtec oil leak: They replaced the Vtec screen Part 15815-RAA-A02 for $252.92

The other day - Vtec oil leak: They replaces VTC Filter Assy Part 15845-RAA-A01; Oil Seal Part 15832-RAA-A01; Valve Assy., Spool Part 15810-RAA-A03 for $466.43

I've got the Valve Assy., Spool part. It looks pretty solid. Not sure why they had to replace the whole thing. I'll talk to them today, and see what's going on. Should be covered by their warranty.
OK, given what you've posted above, it appears last year they replaced the seal / screen for VTEC spool valve assembly on the back of the engine...but not the spool valve assembly itself.

The other day they replaced the seal / screen for the VTC cover, and the o-ring seal which goes on the end of VTC Actuator (both on front/side of engine) and also replaced the VTEC spool valve assembly.

There's really no duplication of replacing parts...but I would question why they didn't go ahead and replace the VTEC spool valve assembly last year instead of just the seal /screen itself. You could ask for a refund of the labor for last year's work and see where that goes...

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #10
OK, given what you've posted above, it appears last year they replaced the seal / screen for VTEC spool valve assembly on the back of the engine...but not the spool valve assembly itself.

The other day they replaced the seal / screen for the VTC cover, and the o-ring seal which goes on the end of VTC Actuator (both on front/side of engine) and also replaced the VTEC spool valve assembly.

There's really no duplication of replacing parts...but I would question why they didn't go ahead and replace the VTEC spool valve assembly last year instead of just the seal /screen itself. You could ask for a refund of the labor for last year's work and see where that goes...

Good Luck
Yes, I sat down with the manager and did exactly that. Shouldn't have gone bad in 13 months. He refunded me parts and labor. Next time I have any issues I'll go directly to the manager. Thank you for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I just wanted to thank everyone for helping to understand the different parts, and what was going on. I sat down with the manager this morning and was able to work everything out. I'm getting a refund, and the next time I get a snarky response to one of my mechanical questions, I can go directly to manager for a real explanation, as to why and what I need to replace on my E.
Thanks again E community!
 

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Hi,
Glad it worked out.
I would try to make an effort in finding a good independent Mechanic if possible.
Then treat them well.
Mechanics like beer in the after hours or...
"Bear Claws" from the bakery, in the morning with their coffee!
Just sayin a good relationship can pay dividends for someone having to depend totally on a Mechanic!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi,
Glad it worked out.
I would try to make an effort in finding a good independent Mechanic if possible.
Then treat them well.
Mechanics like beer in the after hours or...
"Bear Claws" from the bakery, in the morning with their coffee!
Just sayin a good relationship can pay dividends for someone having to depend totally on a Mechanic!
Thanks for the advice. I've always had great relationships with my mechanics, but I've never brought them treats. Something to remember.
 

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Hi,
Glad it worked out.
I would try to make an effort in finding a good independent Mechanic if possible.
Then treat them well.
Mechanics like beer in the after hours or...
"Bear Claws" from the bakery, in the morning with their coffee!
Just sayin a good relationship can pay dividends for someone having to depend totally on a Mechanic!
So my transmission went, after 192k, but I it looks like I've found a good independent shop for my E. I'll make sure to bring them Bear Claws when I pickup.
 

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Hi,
The VTEC parts and locations are something we ALL should know.
Usually when you notice an oil leak, it can be traced up to one of these locations.
A good relationship with your Mechanic can pay dividends for your car.
Can't expect people to go out of their way for you, if you don't for them!
The Honda automatic tranny is not a heavy duty item.
I drain and replace three quarts of fluid every New Years and do not push it harder than needed!
Just sayin!
 
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